Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Green squad takes the field

I've been off the grid for a month, for which I totally blame work.  But, hey, I have to pay for this hobby somehow!

Finally, I have color on my second unit of Tau Warriors.  One less squad that I need to proxy using AT-43 models.  That said, the AT-43models serve wonderfully as proxies.  Don't have to worry about storage and transport -- just throw them loose in a container and bust on out the door.  And they look just fine on the table.

But there's definitely something very satisfying about having the actual Tau models strutting on the tabletop.  After all, it was the original and believable look of those models that struck a chord with me enough to convince me to dig into Warhammer 40K.  Well, them and Kroot.  How pleasantly convenient it was to discover that they actually fought together in the same army...  Space Marines?  Meh.  Crisis Suits?  Bleah.  Fire Warriors and Kroot.  Those are the sci-fi toy soldiers that make me happy.

Anyway, I tried a few new things with this squad, and I'm only partially satisfied with the outcome.  I like the color scheme and general look.  But I attempted an earth-sky effect on the bolt at the end of the plasma rifle, and it's pretty much a failure.

Here, I show one of the new guys alongside one of the dudes from the first unit of Fire Warriors that I painted, oh, I don't know, sometime around 2007?  I also show a primed and oil-washed figure from unit #3, where I used a metallic paint on the bolt, for comparison.  For the best effect, for time invested, the metallic is definitely the way to go.

The earth-sky fails for a few reasons, I think.  One is color-choice.  I needed to get more orange-yellow in the top and less brown and more orange on the bottom.  Another thing I needed to do was bow the horizon line, instead of painting it straight.  That just makes it look like it's painted in two halves.  I need to exaggerate the contour of the round bolt-head.  And finally, I think there just might be too much going on, in too small a space, what, with the slot and the horizon-line making two different bisections.  It's just too much for the eye to resolve, perhaps.  Lessons learned.


  1. I hope you are doing blue squad as well. I am partial to that color scheme.

  2. Yup, blue squad has been in the field for 7 or 8 years. Both Steve and Owen have had the pleasure of blowing them off the table.

    I was thinking of a brown squad, with beige trim. Brown has orange in it. Sometimes. Does that count?

    Check out some of battle reports from games that Steve and I played. Hit Right-Arrow to walk through the bat-rep. We had a lot of fun with the commentary:




  3. Thanks for showing the progress in your skill over time Mike. I always finds it helps to remember the guys still climbing up that painting ladder that many of us started at the same level! Looking good!

    1. Thanks, Greg! Yeah, one of the cool things about one of Roman Lappat's seminars at NOVA Open was him showing his first miniature in one of his slide shows. Of course, the depressing thing is how much progress he's made in less than a decade, compared to my three! Then again, he has probably compressed three times as much time into that decade as I have over the course of my lifetime. The difference between being a professional and hobbyist.

      Somewhere on the blog, I thing I posted my old Ral Partha figures that I painted, when I was a teenager. I can't think of a 'tag' that I would have used to look them up, though -- else I would shoot you the link.

  4. Do you prime white and oil wash your models as a matter of course, or was that just for comparison? I've been wondering if I should pre-shade stuff white to black and then add color with semi-transparent layers for a while.

    1. That was an experiment to better understand oil washes. I decided from the experiment that I don't see any advantage in using oil washes as part of the priming process.

      I usually prime using 2- or 3-tone zenithal priming -- black from the bottom, white from the top. I do use semi-transparent layers, especially for batch-painting. That was my go-to for the longest time, originally. Now I'm trying to work in more opacity. I now view the choice between them as falling in the category of "choosing the right tool for the right job", so I go back and forth, depending.


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